The Financial Express

Relationship: Thus far and no further

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The despicable incident of rape and murder of a student in Dhaka is another rude awakening for all.  This O-level student went to her friend's empty flat where she was allegedly raped and killed. Her rapist later brought her to a hospital where the victim was declared dead. The prime accused named Fardin Iftekhar Dihan is already arrested by the police and gave a confessional statement. However, three of his friends are not accused in the case filed by the victim's parents. The allegation is that the guardians of those three young men influenced the law enforcers to exclude their names.

Many blame the victims for going to the empty flat with her friend or maintaining a relationship with the young man. By blaming the girl, these people are ultimately backing the alleged rapists and murders. Again, some blame the girls' guardians and teachers for not properly alerted and trained her on social and moral values. 

These attitudes reflect that society is yet to be sensitive to girls and women and male chauvinism is prevalent there. Be it highly educated or illiterate, many males in this society find it comfortable to blame a girl or woman for being sexually harassed or even raped. By doing so, they ultimately support sexual offenders and undermine the offence.

Another group of people think that there is nothing wrong when two adult men and women mutually agree to establish an intimate physical relation. This kind of relationship is not morally and socially acceptable, while its legal aspect is tricky. Nevertheless, some people's exceptional value system and lifestyles indicate that so-called consensual sexual activities are there among the non-married men and women.

Those involved in such activities don't find anything wrong as long as there is no violence or offence. Though a private affair, such activities sometimes instigate others to do so.

Thus, it ultimately hurts public morality and decency and also creates a family crisis. Moreover, it has also some negative impact on reproductive health. 

Different movies and television dramas, especially Hindi, mostly display such relationships as advancement in society and the boldness of men. The misguided and provocative presentation of an immoral thing casts a shadow on the mind of youth. In many cases, young people, especially young men can't comprehend the evil of such things and cross the boundaries. Young women mostly become victim of such a relationship as they fall into a trap and ultimately get violated. The student who was raped and murdered was probably such a victim. 

Easy access to the internet with the availability of smartphones has already opened the floodgate of pornography and attracting susceptible youths.  It is another dangerous factor to instigate some people to get involved in a non-marital physical relationship. However, many other try to go for a forceful physical relationship, which ultimately turn into rape --- a heinous crime. 

Thus, it is high time to think and talk seriously about the trend of the so-called consensual physical relationship without marriage. A balanced, healthy and joyful relationship is essential to make a happy family and a vibrant society. Moral education and practice, following the religious guideline, is necessary to step in this direction.

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